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  • Writer's pictureDr. Brian Lum

Reasons You Have Mood Swings - That Are NOT Your Period

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

Too often women's health problems are attributed to their cycle and its hormone-related fluctuations.

Even mood swings, a 'classic' hormone-related symptom, can often be due to other causes.

While these 4 causes might involve other hormones in the body, they are not directly related to cycle or sex hormone-related fluctuations.

woman on a swing on a beach.  text overlay that says 3 causes of mood swings that have nothing to do with your period

Blood Sugar

Imbalanced blood sugar is one of the most common causes of mood swings.

Your blood sugar can be imbalanced even if you have no other symptoms (like shakiness or weight gain). Hunger, too, is not always a good gage of blood sugar levels.

Hunger is mediated by special hormones, called ghrelin and leptin, which are frequently out of balance.

These hormones are also vital for weight loss and energy [1] as they make sure you are using the right fuel and burning fat.

One of the ways hunger-modulating hormones can become imbalanced is with frequent dieting.

Eat regularly throughout the day with meals roughly four hours apart with a light snack at the two hour mark in between meals.

Cutting out refined sugar and flour-based products (like bread) will also help your blood sugar levels even out.

I use functional medicine testing to assess blood sugar balance in my patients. One marker, hemoglobin A1C, is particularly useful as it can measure blood sugar balance for the last 90 days.

I also routinely measure fasting insulin levels as this can detect early stages of insulin resistance, which is a blood sugar problem that causes weight gain or inability to lose weight as well as diabetes.

Chronic Elevated Histamine

Histamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that makes you feel 'on edge'.

Chronic elevated histamine is a common cause of irritability, agitation, anxiety and mood swings.

This is why some people take Benadryl as a sleep aid as it is an antihistamine which helps the body and nervous system calm down.

Environmental allergens, like dust, mold and pollen can cause elevated histamine levels.

a couple lying in the grass.
Environmental allergens like pollen can cause high histamine levels which can cause mood swings

Elevated histamine levels can also come from your food.

There are 'histamine-releasing' as well as 'histamine-containing' foods.

Digestive upset like heartburn, GERD, diarrhea, constipation and irregularity are frequently signs that there may be elevated histamine levels..

Avoiding allergens and high histamine foods will make you feel better in the short term, but finding out why your body is releasing too much histamine will be key to long term relief.

Read more about Histamine Intolerance.

Adrenal Fatigue

Your body produces adrenaline and cortisol in times of stress. If that stress is short term, like an argument, then your body has no trouble 'bouncing back' and replenishing those hormones.

If you are under emotional or physical stress long term - if you are in a toxic relationship, a stressful job or have trouble sleeping at night - you can make it harder and harder for your body to produce adrenaline and cortisol.

It can start to feel like you can never 'recharge'.

This is because the part of the brain and the glands responsible for signaling and producing adrenaline and cortisol are not able to keep up with the demand.

The majority of my patients with long term illness like autoimmune disease, a toxicity issue or a viral infection - also have adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue can manifest with symptoms of extreme fatigue, irritability and mood swings.

My patients with adrenal fatigue have different treatment plans based on their conditions and severity of adrenal fatigue.

Fortunately, adrenal fatigue is something well-suited to a natural, functional medicine approach.

Read more about Adrenal Fatigue.


While many people recover from the effects of a concussion after about a week, others have symptoms that can persists for months or years.

Symptoms of concussion can be mood swings, and changes in emotional regulation[2].

Even if you had a concussion decades ago - it can raise your risk of degenerative diseases like dementia.

Fortunately there are lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of developing dementia [3].

I also offer a soft tissue treatment that can enhance cerebral spinal fluid flow in the brain and spinal cord, as well as optimize blood flow and neurological communication in the brain.

Even if your concussion happened long ago or you were never diagnosed with a concussion but suspect you did have one, you should be evaluated for post concussion dysfunction.

It is not uncommon for my patients to report an increase in mental clarity and emotional stability after an evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Read more about Soft Tissue Treatment.

Resolving Mood Swings For Good

If you are having mood swings that are affecting your life and can't seem to find a cause, a functional medicine consultation may be able to help you.

I help people every day with mysterious or complex symptoms that do not seem to have an obvious cause.

If you would like to ask me questions about functional medicine, chronic illness or how I can help you, please schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation or call or text my office at 913-728-5291.

My clinic offers functional medicine appointments as well as manual chiropractic treatments. I do online consultations for those out-of-state or outside of the United States.


If you think that you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.  No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Nor should you ever delay seeking medical advice or treatment due to the information contained on this Website.

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